For those who use Mozilla Firefox as our web browser of choice, you may have noticed that there have been a large number of updates over the past year, leaping from version 4 to the now current Firefox 13. Mozilla has been following an aggressive roadmap to improve performance and features.
Mozilla's rapid release plan has some users confused, with some new versions being launched with mere weeks between them. These new versions aren't due to bugs, but Mozilla's aggressive goal to improve everybody's Firefox experience. For example, version 6 and 7 primarily focused on performance issues, speeding up the startup time of the browser and shrinking down the memory usage by as much as 50%, which is a staggering improvement for many users.
Firefox 13 was released a few days ago, and with it came a lot of brand new features on top of being noticeably faster. Here are some of the most prominent features that will help make your browsing experience better.
New Default Pages
The first thing many users noticed was that Mozilla updated Firefox's start page. It still contains a Google search, but along the bottom there are tools for getting into your bookmarks, web history, viewing add ons, and changing other settings.
When opening a new tab, Firefox now displays the nine most visited websites. You can pin particular sites to a position so they are always there, letting you quickly access the sites you visit the most. If you don't like this feature, you can turn it off by clicking an icon on the top right of the window.
Reset to Factory Settings
Techs have always liked this ability in Internet Explorer. New to Firefox is the ability to reset the browser as if you just installed it for the first time. It wipes out cookies, cache, history, saved passwords, bookmarks, add-ons, and all Firefox settings. This is great for when there is an issue and common solutions just aren't working. Sure, you lose all of your bookmarks and saved passwords, but you shouldn't rely on your web browser alone to retain all of that information for you anyway.
If you use Firefox on multiple devices, you can now sync history, bookmarks, passwords, and open tabs across multiple devices. You can set up the syncing by going to Tools > Set Up Sync. Firefox will walk you through creating a new account and give you the information you need to connect to your other instances of Firefox.
Don't let the rapid release of updates deter you from using Firefox as your default web browser - these planned releases are all designed to improve the popular web browser. What browser do you prefer? Let us know in the comments!